AUSTIN, TEXAS—The Wild West has a new hero. Abraham Charnes, the founder of the Center of Cybernetic Studies at the University of Texas, has unhoistered mathematical equations to help Texas farmers win a long court battle over water rights from the Pecos River.

The headwaters of the Pecos lie in central New Mexico. Flowing southward into West Texas to join the Rio Grande, the river runs through some of the most arid country in the United States.

Texas and New Mexico have argued over its scarce and valuable water for more than 60 years. In 1948 the two ststes agreed to divide the water, but the resulting Pecos River Compact proved to be not an end to the dispute but merely the guidelines for a new one.

Texans claimed that New Mexico took more than its share of water under the compact and that not enough water flowed into Texas....

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